27 July 2010

30 weeks pregnant & the commentary that goes with it

Go on. I dare anyone to call me "huge".

I have gotten some pretty insane comments over the course of this pregnancy (read about one extended and awkward exchange here): about my belly size, about my ankles, about my diet, about being pregnant in the summer ... you name it. I've been asked if this pregnancy was planned (and advised to plan "better" next time so as not to be pregnant through the summer), if I'm having twins, if I'm sure of the due date, and so on. It gave me inspiration to write a list about things not to say/do to a pregnant woman, but I figured someone had already written such a list.

I was right: such a list has already been written. It's hilarious and true. There are 10 items on that list, and 7 of them have been said/done to me. I figure that I've got 10 weeks left and I'll just give the other three time. I'd love to know what it is (psychologically and sociologically speaking) that makes people who would never otherwise make commentary to a woman's face about her enormous size (or the state of her ankles, whether or not her condition was "planned", or opinions on what she is eating), comment freely and at length about such things.

Can you imagine if I were to go up to an overweight person in a restaurant (or anywhere in public for that matter) and talk to them about how big they are and how they shouldn't be eating what they're eating? I would expect to be slapped or at the very least, kicked out.

In any case, whether or not it's right I know I can't stop people from saying stupid things to me. We've been trying to come up with a direct and truthful response to these kinds of comments that is not mean-spirited. James suggested the following, and I think I'll use it when I'm next in a situation where someone makes a comment and I don't know what else to say:

The most uncomfortable part of this pregnancy for me is all the unsolicited commentary I'm getting when out in public.

It's not rude. It's not retalitatory. It's not mean-spirited. And it's true.

If When I get a chance to use it, I'll be sure and let you know how that goes.  ;o)


Susan said...

Hi...I have not posted here before but I've been following your story for quite a while. I just wanted you to know that I think of you often and pray for you and your sweet baby.

This post brought me back 8 years to the summer I was pregnant with my first son. Many people made comments about my size, the time of the year I was pregnant and my horribly swollen ankles. One particular comment sent me to tears (emotional from hormones, I suspect)...while walking down the hallway of my husband's school a co-worker of his yells out "holy cow there she blows!" It was just awful!! Mind you I had only gained about 15 pounds at that point and I still had about 6 weeks to go. I think every woman in the hallway wanted to attack him! :) To this day he can't make eye contact with me!!

There is a saying we've all heard before...that goes something like this...if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. Honestly I think people speak before they THINK.

You look amazing and you are amazing. Many hugs and special pregnancy vibes coming your way. Enjoy this time you have left while you keep Ewan safe inside.


Sarah said...

Love the response . . . definitely let u sknow how it goes!

Nadine said...

Love you! :) You are beautiful! I like the comment, lol! Tell little Ewan that Jaden says hello! <3

Stefenie said...

This made me crack up. I have been there TWICE with both my boys. Oh the things I had to endure. Not only did my belly and butt get big but so did my chest and that brought on a lot of unwanted comments. Sigh!! Feel your pain! Giggling just a bit though because I have soooo been there.

Do What You Love said...

I just happened to see the link on a blog I follow and was curious. I come upon a picture of a beautiful woman, with a beautiful smile and a lovely little tummy. I love that you look so graceful with life in you, a gift not everyone is able to bear. I love that you look so dazzling - just like a movie star - seriously. I cannot imagine anyone being rude and commenting about you unless it is like you said, mean spirited. Tell them to go take a hike, like you did - good for you! I had twins (at 28 weeks gestation) and let me tell you...I didn't look as good as you - you look like a star and you make being pregnant a beautiful gift! So hang in there and don't let anyone get you down; you're beautiful girl! :-)

Do What You Love said...

Hi again - I just read your beautiful story about your son, Ewan. I want to tell you how much I love your writing and so happy that you are not afraid to express yourself. I love that you are bold enough to speak out and that you and your husband are one. I also love that you are taking the time to help educate others in so many ways; about the beauty of have life inside you, the struggles with pregnancy, the upside, the downside - just a beautiful, thought provoking experience in words that evoke an emotion deep inside our hearts with appreciation for the gift, no matter the outcome. While reading your journey, it brought back memories of my baby, Terrell (after the twins) and how back then we didn't talk about things; how we had to hold it in. I saw the picture of baby Cohen and the picture of my baby flashed immediately. Darn it, the tears still came. But I cannot begin to say thank you to YOU for sharing your gift with others. Thank you for letting me be a part of it. God keep you. YOU truly are a BEAUTIFUL woman sharing a life that is and will always make a difference.

Ginnyb said...

Hello Beautiful MOMMY. I know how you feel. With my first pregnancy was with twins (I carried 20 day over due date)was so large I could not wear a bra and could not set in a lady like fashion. You should have heard the remarks I got from people. They were not very nice. I wish there was computers and internet at that time.
I also wanted to let you know that Ewan has a chance to live a full normal life. I have some very close friends who had a daughter with the same hart problems. She was the first baby to have this surgery and did very well.She is living a full healthy 28 yrs. She also has 3 bright daughters, that are very healthy.
I am praying for Ewan and your family. Please keep posting your journey and making everyone jealous of your very beautiful baby figure.

Unknown said...

When pregnant with my daughter two years ago, a woman told me I looked 'ready to pop' (my least favorite pregnancy related phrase) in May. My daughter was born in September! I think part of the problem is that people just don't have an appreciation of what a 40 week pregnant belly looks like. I'm currently 33 weeks pregnant with our second baby and am about as big as I was the first time around. My husband calls this the 'shockingly large' stage of pregnancy! I actually enjoy that though- it is truly amazing what our bodies do to accommodate the growing life within us. Like you, I am 'all belly', so the larger the belly gets, the more drastic the comparison to the rest of me. Pregnancy is wonderful (and I do mean full of wonder), I am so glad you are relishing every moment of yours.

PS I don't know you directly but linked to your site via Rebecca's (we grew up together). I will be praying for you, your husband & Ewan as the time approaches for you two to meet your son face to face.

Unknown said...

This reminds me of the comments my 16-year-old son gets. He is 6'8". Strangers come up to him all the time and say "How tall are you?!" My dad told him to reply, "How SHORT are you?" He hasn't felt brave enough to say that yet, but it's comin'.